As much as I love babies and toddlers, watching our four kids move through all of the different phases of childhood has been fun. Each stage has its joys and challenges, but one thing I've especially appreciated is teaching them life skills like cleaning and cooking, because this HELPS me stretch the hours in my day! (That's a picture of our youngest making himself a grilled cheese sandwich.)
When it comes to cooking, two of our kids love it, the other two not so much, but they ALL have to pitch in. (And nobody around here likes to clean!) I see it as a gift to them in the future, and if they marry, it's a gift to their future spouses!
When you bring your kids into the kitchen, for a short time it's more work, but quicker than you think, it becomes a HUGE time-saver, and before long, you can do something else while the KIDS handle dinner — yes, it really happens! (Imagine sipping coffee on the deck while the kids make breakfast!!!)
Before you can get there, though, whether the kids are helping you prep for meals or handling the whole shebang, you really do need to address the issue of safety in the kitchen first. Not just safe practices around the stove, but also what my friend Katie shows in this video: knife safety skills! Katie was a teacher before becoming a Mom and a blogger, so she's all over this, and covers things I never did. My knife skills training went something like this, “BE CAREFUL!”
So if the idea of letting your kids use knives freaks you out a little, be sure and show them this video. My kids loved watching other kids learn. Also you'll find out the #1 mistake that destroys your chance of enjoying time in the kitchen with your kids!
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